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University lecturers get Shell’s sabbatical research grant


Written by George Onah

Monday, 06 October 2008

NO fewer than 95 teachers from various universities across the country have been offered sabbatical research opportunities at the instance of Shell Petroleum Development Company.

Although the offers took effect five years ago, about 75 of the lecturers have so far benefited from the exercise while 20 of such dons are currently serving at various Shell portfolios addition to seven professorial chairs funded by the company in Nigerian universities.

Manager Geo-solutions of the outfit Mr. Nedo Osayande disclosed at the Information and Communication Technology Centre, University of Port Harcourt, Weekend, at the commencement of an intensive summer school programme for students of Nigerian universities.

Osayande said the initiative was part of efforts to boost academic learning while at the same time bridging the widening gap between university curricula and oil industry needs in this millennium.

According to him, the innovative programme “has 55 top best students in geophysics and geology at different levels from four universities participating in a four-day hands-on pilot training programme in Rivers State.

A breakdown of the distribution, after a rigorous examination process and screening indicated that 25 emerged from University of Port Harcourt, while 10 each came from Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology Owerri and University of Benin.

He drew attention to the fact that “the programme was initiated to bridge observed gap between the experience and skills of members of Nigerian Association Petroleum Explorations and poor students’’ understanding of issues in geophysics and geology field. “It is part of Shell’s strategy to improve academic performance in relevant fields to encourage a vibrant future in the industry. ”

The exercise also aims at building relevant human capacity in such a way that elevates the students to properly fit into the core of subsequent recruitment needs of the industry”.

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